January is always a very busy time for me at work – so much so that I have a rule that no one on my team can take any time off from Christmas until mid-February. There is one sweet spot in January where we have 3-4 days where we’ve finished our year end work and can’t start our year-begin work. This sweet spot is when I try to escape for a little bit. Last year I headed off to Shanghai for 4 days. I chose Shanghai because MS was there for work, and I found really cheap airfare.
How did I pick Stockholm…in January no less? Well, MS was heading to Brazil for a two week work trip and I initially planned on joining him – until I started checking airfare. For the weekend (a/k/a my work calendar sweet spot) in question, the airfare was nearly $3K for a simple economy plus seat on United. That’s absolutely insane – I have never spent that much on a single ticket in my entire life. I can’t imagine ever doing so.
I still wanted to take a trip that weekend so I headed on over to Google to search for destinations with reasonable airfare that fit my very restrictive travel schedule. Not surprisingly, the cheapest destinations were cold weather destinations – Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm. These destinations were all about $800 round trip. I found trips to Addis Ababa for $900 and Beijing and Shanghai for about $950. I was really tempted by Addis Ababa, but the timing wasn’t ideal (I’d only have about 30 hours in the City). MS had already been to Stockholm and had a good time, but wasn’t really interested in returning anytime soon.
My trip was quick – technically the timing was pretty much like the prior year’s trip to Shanghai. Since I had to connect in Newark, my travel time from ORD to ARN took about 13.5 hours (including the layover). I even had the same amount of time on the ground in Stockholm as in Shanghai.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll tell you all about my quick trip, including:
- UA 3471/68 ORD-EWR-ARN (Economy Plus)
- ARN Express
- Sheraton Stockholm Hotel
- The Vasa Museum
- Sights of Stockholm
- Dining Out: Stockholm
- UA 69/374 ARN-EWR-ORD (Economy Plus)
- Stockholm: Final Thoughts
Have you been to Stockholm? Do you think it’s nuts to go to Sweden in January? Do you have a time at work where you really want to get away, but cannot because of sill schedules? Does the idea of a 4 day trip with 26 hours in transit and 52 on the ground seem absolutely stupid to you?